• Hi, I am the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • This site contains affiliate links for which Styleforum may be compensated.
  • We would like to welcome House of Huntington as an official Affiliate Vendor. Shop past season Drake's, Nigel Cabourn, Private White V.C. and other menswear luxury brands at exceptional prices below retail. Please visit the Houise of Huntington thread and welcome them to the forum.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

    Styleforum is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Lawyers advise me

HelloIDistance

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
679
Reaction score
30
I know there are some lawyers on here, so I have a question. If you were to repost a picture that someone posted online on another site would this be legal. For example, say I posted a picture on the WAYWT thread and someone saved the picture and used it on their blog. Legal?

I've been reading about it, but it seems like a real grey area.
 

mr. magoo

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2003
Messages
696
Reaction score
11
Originally Posted by HelloIDistance
I know there are some lawyers on here, so I have a question. If you were to repost a picture that someone posted online on another site would this be legal. For example, say I posted a picture on the WAYWT thread and someone saved the picture and used it on their blog. Legal?

I've been reading about it, but it seems like a real grey area.


I'm an attorney, but haven't got a good grasp of this sort of thing. My first reaction would be to read the terms of service for the website. For instance, it may say that once you post something here, it's in the public domain and good for any use. In the alternative, it may provide that there is some measure of confidentiality and that a user may not copy of substance found on the site.

That seems much easier than figuring out the various forms of misappropriation of a public image depending on what state you're in, etc. My gut says that you can use it if you post it yourself, but I don't really know straight off.
 

otc

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
24,365
Reaction score
18,873
Originally Posted by HelloIDistance
I know there are some lawyers on here, so I have a question. If you were to repost a picture that someone posted online on another site would this be legal. For example, say I posted a picture on the WAYWT thread and someone saved the picture and used it on their blog. Legal?

I've been reading about it, but it seems like a real grey area.


What they are doing is copyright infringement if you have not given permission to use the image.

Of course you have very little recourse. You can alert them to the fact...then you can alert their hosting provider to the fact (they are somewhat likely to do something about it if you approach them correctly). You can hire a lawyer to send some letters...and eventually you can take them to court (which is bound to be a long drawn out process that nets you nothing).

A takedown notice from a lawyer is probably enough to get them to remove it...but depending on the content, it could just encourage Streisand Effect style spreading of the image.
 

Kyoung05

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
338
Reaction score
1
Originally Posted by otc
What they are doing is copyright infringement if you have not given permission to use the image.

Of course you have very little recourse. You can alert them to the fact...then you can alert their hosting provider to the fact (they are somewhat likely to do something about it if you approach them correctly). You can hire a lawyer to send some letters...and eventually you can take them to court (which is bound to be a long drawn out process that nets you nothing).

A takedown notice from a lawyer is probably enough to get them to remove it...but depending on the content, it could just encourage Streisand Effect style spreading of the image.


Yes, what they've done is likely copyright infringement. However, as others have noted, there isn't much you can do. Taking them to court will likely prove to be a huge waste of money - you'll have to register the copyright first with the copyright office which can take MONTHS, and then the cost of filing fees, etc. Then, take into consideration that the alleged "infringer" can assert what they call a "fair use" defense, which further makes any kind of recovery more difficult.

Takedown is probably the best you can do, but even that is made difficult due to DMCA counter-notification procedures.
 

HelloIDistance

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
679
Reaction score
30
Thank you. This really isn't pertaining to me or anything anyone took. I was just throwing a hypothetical for a project I'm doing. Basically what I see is that it is a pretty grey area?
 

Kyoung05

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
338
Reaction score
1
Originally Posted by HelloIDistance
Thank you. This really isn't pertaining to me or anything anyone took. I was just throwing a hypothetical for a project I'm doing. Basically what I see is that it is a pretty grey area?

With respect to "infringement," I wouldn't say it's really a gray area, only with respect to what the copyright holder's remedies are in that situation.
 

Bartolo

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
696
Reaction score
14
Originally Posted by HelloIDistance
Thank you. This really isn't pertaining to me or anything anyone took. I was just throwing a hypothetical for a project I'm doing. Basically what I see is that it is a pretty grey area?

The illegality of it isn't gray at all. What's uncertain is whether the copyright owner will (1) find out, (2) object, (3) take action to request you to take it down, (4) whether you'll take it down in response to (3), and (5) whether, if you don't take it down in response to a request, the copyright owner will take more serious action such as actually suing you in federal court.
 

Harold falcon

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
32,028
Reaction score
11,364
Originally Posted by otc
What they are doing is copyright infringement if you have not given permission to use the image.
I would not be so sure. Using a single image could well qualify as fair use, which as much as some powerful interests in this country want us to forget about is still a legitimate defense to copyright infringement.
 

otc

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
24,365
Reaction score
18,873
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman
I would not be so sure. Using a single image could well qualify as fair use, which as much as some powerful interests in this country want us to forget about is still a legitimate defense to copyright infringement.

I suppose he didn't clarify the use of the image.

If someone took his WAYWT image and foofed it or critiqued it, that might be fair use. If they needed a photo of a guy in a suit standing on a toilet to advertise how professional their bathroom cleaning service is...that would be straight up infringement.

Fair use only works if you are using it for one of the fair use reasons.
 

Kyoung05

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
338
Reaction score
1
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman
I would not be so sure. Using a single image could well qualify as fair use, which as much as some powerful interests in this country want us to forget about is still a legitimate defense to copyright infringement.

Originally Posted by otc
I suppose he didn't clarify the use of the image.

If someone took his WAYWT image and foofed it or critiqued it, that might be fair use. If they needed a photo of a guy in a suit standing on a toilet to advertise how professional their bathroom cleaning service is...that would be straight up infringement.

Fair use only works if you are using it for one of the fair use reasons.


Right - the most important factor of the fair use analysis appears to be the "transformative" factor, so it would really all come down to how the alleged infringer was using the photo. Anyways, this all academic since the OP has said it was only hypothetical, so we don't have any actual facts to work with.
 

yerfdog

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
2
Originally Posted by otc
I suppose he didn't clarify the use of the image.

If someone took his WAYWT image and foofed it or critiqued it, that might be fair use. If they needed a photo of a guy in a suit standing on a toilet to advertise how professional their bathroom cleaning service is...that would be straight up infringement.

Fair use only works if you are using it for one of the fair use reasons.


One of the prongs of the fair use test is how significant of a part of the work is borrowed (ie, did you borrow the "heart" of the original). If the original work was defined as a whole web page, like if it's a blog post with a lot of text and several photos, the photo of the guy in a suit might not be considered that significant a part of the original.

On the other hand, if the original work was defined as the photo itself, that would point pretty strongly toward infringement.
 

Kyoung05

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
338
Reaction score
1
Originally Posted by AR_Six
I'm pretty sure that you don't actually have to register the copyright in order to sue on it. That said this is a pretty academic question, why would anyone ever pursue something like this in the legal arena.

The Copyright Act §411(a) states:

(a) Except for an action brought for a violation of the rights of the author under section 106A(a), and subject to the provisions of subsection (b),no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title. In any case, however, where the deposit, application, and fee required for registration have been delivered to the Copyright Office in proper form and registration has been refused, the applicant is entitled to institute a civil action for infringement if notice thereof, with a copy of the complaint, is served on the Register of Copyrights. The Register may, at his or her option, become a party to the action with respect to the issue of registrability of the copyright claim by entering an appearance within sixty days after such service, but the Register's failure to become a party shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction to determine that issue.

Moreover, §412 requires registration as a prerequisite to certain remedies, i.e. statutory damages and attorneys fees.
 

JTK

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
236
Reaction score
16
If you're posting the image for purposes of comment or criticism, it's likely considered fair use. Of course, the copyright owner may still pursue a claim, though it's very very unlikely! If the owner really has an objection, he can send the site where the image is posted a take down notice per the DMCA. Best bet is to provide some credit to the original site (or owner) where image was taken.
 

Featured Sponsor

What's your favorite style of coat for winter? Choose up to 3

  • Peacoat

  • Great coat

  • Trench

  • Mac

  • Chesterfield

  • Duffle coat

  • Topcoat

  • Shearling

  • Balmacaan

  • Parka

  • Loden

  • Car coat


Results are only viewable after voting.

Forum statistics

Threads
503,488
Messages
10,566,270
Members
223,452
Latest member
illuminatiugandax
Top